Weekly newsletter of VoiceFirst ecosystem

By Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly

The ultimate resource in #VoiceFirst. Weekly digest of the most relevant news in the #VoiceFirst ecosystem. Everything from voice assistants to bots including conversational AI and published audio.

The ultimate resource in #VoiceFirst. Weekly digest of the most relevant news in the #VoiceFirst ecosystem. Everything from voice assistants to bots including conversational AI and published audio.

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The future of voice: the hyperlink for voice or inter-skill communication - Issue #46

Today, we’re excited to announce that the Alexa Skills Kit now enables select Covered Entities and their Business Associates, subject to the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), to build Alexa skills that transmit and rece…


The conversational nature of reality - Issue #45

On the flip side of the enthusiasm we share for digital assistants and the progress on natural language understanding there are people like Boris Katz, a principal research scientist at MIT that believes current AI techniques aren’t enough to make Siri or Ale…


What’s the killer app for digital assistants - Issue #44

Bose is no longer only the company that manufactures your favorite headphones, as of this week, Bose became a platform company when it announced at SxSW their Audio AR platform, including an SDK for developers and sample applications. EarPlay, who I have been…


Mary Kondo conversational AI - Issue #43

UC Berkeley scientists conducted a statistical analysis of listener responses to more than 2,000 nonverbal exclamations known as "vocal bursts" and found they convey at least 24 kinds of emotion."Our findings show that the voice is a much more powerful tool f…


How Voice Computing Will Transform the Way We Live - Issue #42

When Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa hit the market, plenty of commenters pointed out the obvious — that they reinforce sexist attitudes.Will really love to start a discussion around this and hear different opinions on it. Hit me up!


Can two chatbots fall in love this Valentines Day 2019? - Issue #41

Two refrigerators news from Samsung this week: Samsung launches new smart washer and dryer equipped with Bixby that can recommend the best wash and drying cycles for your load, taking into account its size, colors, and amount of dirt. You can use Bixby to sta…


Conversational AI: from DIY to Do It For Me (DIFM) - Issue #40

Our focus is on what happens when people talk to devices using ordinary human language, instead of using buttons or dials, to get the BBC services they want.The BBC has been experimenting with voice since 2017. In this piece they recount their experience so f…


What’s in your voice technology belt? - Issue #39

With an Alexa-hosted skill, you can build, edit, and publish a skill without leaving the Alexa Developer Console. This allows you to build skills quickly and spend your time designing engaging experiences, rather than managing cloud services. Alexa-hosted ski…


The Alexa Conference 2019 insider view recap - Issue #38

More-Efficient “Kernel Methods” Dramatically Reduce Training Time for Natural-Language-Understanding SystemsAdd In-Skill Purchasing Directly from the Alexa Developer ConsoleAmazon Halts Echo Clock Sales Over Connectivity Issues


The one I wrote during the Alexa Conference - Issue #37

Hello! What a week. The Alexa Conference is wrapping up today, we have been very active, recording live, tweeting and interviewing for the podcast, plus meeting with tons of people doing the cooler things in voice technology and Alexa. My heart is so full and…


Voice technology in CES 2019 - Issue #36

Google Assistant becomes an interpreter with translation in real time modeGoogle announced today that the voice assistant is getting a new “interpreter mode” that can translate in real time so you can hold conversations with someone who doesn’t share the same…


New year, more voice tech! - Issue #35

Apple's newly granted patent (#10,170,123) covers their invention relating to natural language processing and, more specifically, to the use of a virtual assistant (Siri) with natural language processing to control electronic devices within a home. For more d…


Alexa breaking numbers in the holiday season - Issue #34

Amazon announced a record-breaking holiday season for items sold. What stands out for smart speakers and Alexa is outlined below:Customers seem to be growing more comfortable ordering with Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, with the company saying people used i…


Tis the season - Issue #33

Twenty-eight years ago, we met the precocious Kevin McCallister in “Home Alone,” the highest-grossing Christmas movie of all time. Now, Macaulay Culkin has reprised his role as the ever-resourceful Kevin in our new holiday film, "Home Alone Again with the Goo…


Chewie, I don’t think they had wookies in mind when they made her - Issue #32

“I love technology; it’s supposed to make our lives much easier,” said Pena. “It’s wonderful… if you can use it.”Read this for why smart assistants are still not capable of recognizing certain speech disabilities. And how some users might be giving up on smar…


Can a brand create a sonic identity from a light bulb? 💡 - Issue #31

You can say Amazon understand incentives like few companies today in the smart speakers/assistants race - or at all if we are going to be complete .This is the announcement for the latest Alexa skills challenge. Build multimodal Alexa Skills using the Alexa P…


1000 Echos per second 😱? No way! The year of voice - Issue #30

…research by the early-stage accelerator Digital Financial Services Lab and research consultancy Caribou Digital shows developers are focusing much of their efforts on improving English language capabilities and less on languages from developing nations in Af…


The one with the thank you intro 🙏 - Issue #29

Amazon annual re:Invent is taking place in 2 weeks and these are the announcements made so far relevant to voice technologies:Amazon Transcribe can now do live audio transcriptions: Amazon announced this week that Amazon Transcribe, its automatic speech recog…


It's time small businesses had big business capabilities - Issue #28

That’s the conclusion The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism arrived in their report The future of voice and the implications for news. According to the report, the use of the devices for music and weather is still far ahead of news use and the mai…


Samsung opens Bixby to developers - Issue #27

The company announced this Wednesday Bixby Developer Studio during their Developer Conference in San Francisco. Bixby has encountered some issues in user adoption and it’s notably lagging behind Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Samsung is opening Bixby from…